National Football Foundation

News Detail

MONDAY'S NFF CHALKTALK – July 20, 2015, Presented by
The latest news and notes from the world of college football for the week of July 20.
Published: 7/20/2015 4:24:00 PM

(Pictured: 2015 College Football Hall of Fame electee Bob Breunig made a six-figure contribution to Arizona State to serve as the lead gift in the Sun Devil Football Legacy Endowment Fund, which is responsible for providing the funds necessary to endow all 85 football scholarships.)

Former SEC Commissioner Mike Slive Named 2015 NFF Legacy Award Recipient

The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced that former Southeastern Conference (SEC) Commissioner Mike Slive will be recognized with an NFF Legacy Award during the 58th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 8 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. The NFF Legacy Award, established in 2007, honors individuals and organizations who have made extraordinary contributions to the NFF and/or embody its mission.

Under Slive’s leadership, the SEC has enjoyed unprecedented championship success, claiming seven consecutive Bowl Championship Series (BCS) national titles in football. In all, the SEC has won 67 national championships in 15 of its 21 sponsored sports during his tenure as commissioner. He led the adoption of a new and effective league-wide NCAA compliance initiative; engineered landmark television contracts, including the launch of the SEC Network; and guided the conference through expansion, welcoming Texas A&M University and the University of Missouri. Slive also played a key leadership role in launching the new College Football Playoff in 2014.

Preparing the Officials for the New Season - Part I

Rogers Redding, the national coordinator of College Football Officiating, provides insights about rules changes and the mindset of college football referees. The CFO is the national professional organization for all football officials who work games at the collegiate level. 

As we look forward to the 2015 season, colleges and university football programs around the country are gearing up their preparation. Much time and energy is invested in getting teams ready for that first game.

The same is true for the men and women in the striped shirts. Most fans and other stakeholders don’t realize how much extensive preparation the officials undergo for the new season. In this column and the next, we’ll look at some ways that folks on the officiating side of the game get prepped for the opening kickoff.

Spring Practices –
When the teams have their scrimmages and spring games, officials work these practice sessions to begin preparing for the season. Many times the conference coordinators will use these practices to evaluate the work of potential new officials who are being groomed in lower divisions to move up to a higher-level conference.

National Instant Replay Conference –
Each spring all the Division I Instant Replay Officials and Referees from around the country meet as a group to work on perfecting the Instant Replay process. These sessions feature extensive study of video plays as examples of what may and may not be reviewed. Concentrated attention is devoted to best practices for conducting a review.

National Rules Exam –
Each year the CFO creates a 100-question rules exam that all college officials take. Many conferences and divisions require their officials to take this exam. Perhaps its greatest value is as a learning tool when officials study the rules on their own, in their local study groups and in conference clinics. 

Coordinators Meetings –
During the spring and early summer, there are several meetings of the conference coordinators of officials. These provide opportunities to review the new rules, learn about any changes in the mechanics of officiating games and bring each other up to date on the progress of officials who might be candidates to advance.

Next week we will look at some additional tools that the officials use in their season preparation.

2015 NFF Institutional Academic Membership is Open

Each year, the NFF invites universities, colleges, conferences and bowl games from across the country to provide support for the NFF programs through its Institutional Academic Membership Program. The program allows the NFF to greatly enhance the power of football's collective voice while actively building a stronger national platform for the game with community leaders, educators and the media.

The program is open to all football-playing institutions and conferences at every level of college football and all bowl games, and it reached new levels of support last year. Email Ron Dilatush at to learn about the benefits and how your institution can become a member in 2015.

Those who have joined this week include Founder Member Northwest Missouri State and Executive Members Dixie State (Utah), Mount St. Joseph (Ohio), Princeton and Sewanee: The University of the South (Tenn.). Click here for the 2015 Institutional Academic Members.

NFF Promotes

The NFF would like to highlight the newest stories on, a powerful new addition to the organization’s campaign to highlight the good in the game and the lifelong benefits to those who play it. Recent headlines on the site include:

Click here to sign up to receive the eNewsletter from The site focuses on the stories that evoke the qualities of leadership, sportsmanship, competitive zeal, character building and the drive for academic excellence that exemplifies many of the young men who play football and the families who support them.

The site is the latest addition to the NFF’s #FootballMatters Campaign, which began in 2013 and provides people from border-to-border and coast-to-coast a voice in highlighting the positive impact that football has had on their lives. The campaign encourages participation via a series of national television spots with high-profile former players who subsequently achieved remarkable success later in life. The TV spots urge people to utilize social media platforms and the hashtag: #ImAFootballPlayer to share their football stories, which become part of the Twitter feed on the NFF website.


The College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience is now officially part of CityPASS in Atlanta. The Hall joins the National Center for Civil and Human Rights as the newest attractions included in the CityPASS program, joining the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, Zoo Atlanta, Fernbank Museum of Natural History and CNN Center.

The College Football Hall of Fame was a featured category on SPORTS JEOPARDY! on July 15. Click here to watch the episode and test your college football knowledge.

Fumbles, the Hall of Fame’s mascot, gave a warm welcome to the Primerica conference attendees on July 16. Guests had the chance to take pictures with Fumbles inside the Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center lobby.

Georgia Tech Athletics will hold an exclusive event for football season ticket holders July 18 at the College Football Hall of Fame.

The University of Georgia will host UGA Day in Atlanta on July 27 at the Hall. UGA coaches and administrators will share the latest news on the upcoming athletic seasons. Coaches, who are schedule to speak, include head football coach Mark Richt and Men’s head basketball coach Mark Fox. The event is open to the public. To register, visit

The 14th annual Big South Conference Football Media Day will be held in part on July 29 at the College Football Hall of Fame. Events will include a free tour for media of the College Football Hall of Fame and the Big South’s Kickoff Dinner.

The Hall will help kick off the 2015 college football season in a major way on Aug. 3 with the inaugural College Football Huddle-Up Luncheon, presented by the College Football Hall of Fame and the Atlanta Sports Council. Join ESPN College GameDay hosts as they discuss the evolution of College GameDay, Built by the Home Depot. The panel will feature NFF Annual Awards Dinner emcee Rece Davis, the newest addition to the College GameDay team along with show veteran, Lee Corso, who has been at the desk since the first broadcast and accepted the NFF Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award on behalf of the program in 2006; former University of Georgia defensive end David Pollack and the show’s longtime Senior Coordinating Producer Lee Fitting. The session will also feature a sneak peek at GameDay locations for the upcoming season, analysis and predictions and a look into the College Football Playoff system as we enter season two under the new structure. Click here to purchase tables or individual tickets to the Inaugural College Football Huddle-Up Luncheon.

The Hall of Fame will celebrate Educator Day on Saturday, Aug. 15. All educators will receive free admission from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Teachers will learn about the Hall’s T.E.A.M.S. curriculum – a technology, engineering, arts, mathematics and science program. Teachers must present a valid educator ID at the box office to receive free admission. Email for more information.


The College Football Hall of Fame opened its doors last fall in the heart of Atlanta’s sports, entertainment and tourism district. Adjacent to the Georgia World Congress Center and Centennial Olympic Park, the new Hall provides visitors with a highly immersive, interactive and engaging experience using a blend of historic college football artifacts and state-of-the-art, interactive multimedia exhibits. To plan your visit and purchase tickets, visit


NFF Chairman and College Football Hall of Famer Archie Manning (Mississippi) was the featured speaker at the sixth-annual Independence Bowl Kickoff Luncheon today at the Shreveport Convention Center.

NFF Board Member and Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby will be among a group of college presidents, athletics administrators, faculty, students and conference commissioners who will convene in Indianapolis Aug. 4-5 for the NCAA DI Strategic Summit on the future of college sports.

2015 College Football Hall of Fame electee Bob Breunig made a six-figure contribution to Arizona State to serve as the lead gift in the Sun Devil Football Legacy Endowment Fund, which is responsible for providing the funds necessary to endow all 85 football scholarships.

College Football Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas (Alabama) and Hall of Famer and 1996 Campbell Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel (Florida) will both be featured in SEC Storied documentaries slated to run in September.

College Football Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett (Pittsburgh) will be the keynote speaker at Florida Tech’s fourth annual “Inside The Huddle” event on Aug. 1 on its campus in Melbourne, Fla.

College Football Hall of Famer Rex Mirich will have his jersey retired by Northern Arizona on Oct. 2 during a ceremony at the 1899 Bar & Grill in Flagstaff, Ariz.

College Football Hall of Famer and 1970 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Dave Elmendorf (Texas A&M) will be honored as a Gridiron Legend on Dec. 29 during the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl at NRG Stadium in Houston.

The Wuerffel Trophy announced its watch list of 80 players from college football’s Football Bowl Subdivision. The winner of the trophy, named after College Football Hall of Famer and 1996 Campbell Trophy recipient Danny Wuerffel (Florida), will be announced on Dec. 8 at the 58th NFF Annual Awards Dinner press conference at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.

2011 NFF Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award and CBS broadcaster Verne Lundquist, who celebrated his 75th birthday last week, will return to the radio booth to call the Sept. 13 Dallas Cowboys game.

Presented by

The NFF Touchdown Club of Houston Chapter will host University of Houston Day with head coach Tom Herman at the JW Marriott in Houston on July 29.

The NFFCHOF Bill Dooley (N.C.) Chapter will host its annual Pigskin Preview on July 23 at the Embassy Suites in Cary, N.C. Head coaches in attendance will include Duke’s David Cutcliffe, North Carolina State’s Dave Doeren, North Carolina’s Larry Fedora, North Carolina Central’s Jerry Mack and East Carolina’s Ruffin McNeill.

The NFF Jack Grinold/Eastern Massachusetts Chapter announced that the chapter will sponsor the New England Football Writers’ weekly and seasonal Gold Helmet Awards. The Gold Helmet signifies the best performances by football players from New England colleges in the College (Divisions II and III) and University (Division I FBS and FCS) Divisions each week.

The NFF Northern Connecticut Chapter will host its annual golf tournament July 29 at the Manchester Country Club in Manchester, Conn.

The NFF Tom Lombardo/St. Louis Chapter will host the M&M Celebrity Golf Classic on July 30 at The Legends Golf Club in Eureka, Mo. College Football Hall of Famer Johnny Roland (Missouri) and former California football player and NFL head coach Jim Hanifan will be the honorary co-chairs.

The NFF State of Maine Chapter will host its ninth annual “Kick-Off Luncheon” on Aug. 6 at the Ramada Plaza and Conference Center in Portland. Head coaches Mark Harriman (Bates), J.B. Wells (Bowdoin), Jon Michaeles (Colby), Gabby Price (Husson), Chris McKenney (Maine Maritime) and Jack Cosgrove (Maine) will all be on hand to preview the upcoming season.

The Nebraska Football Hall of Fame, sponsored by the NFF Nebraska Chapter, announced its 2015 Class. Former Nebraska players Brook Berringer, Josh Bullocks, Scott Frost, Jeff Krejci, Demorrio Williams and Harry Wilson, along with former Midland (Neb.) player Brad Colburn, will be inducted at a dinner on Sept. 11 and introduced prior to Nebraska’s football game with South Alabama on Sept. 12.

The NFF Westchester (N.Y.) Chapter will hold its 2015 charity golf classic on Sept. 28 at the Apawamis Club in Rye, N.Y.  The event will raise scholarship funds for Westchester’s scholar-athletes.



Georgia Tech and Tennessee will meet in the 2017 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at the new state-of-the-art stadium opening in Atlanta… Colorado agreed to a home-and-home series with Air Force in 2020 and 2022 and a game against Texas State in 2017… Montana and Northern Iowa will square off in a home-and-home series in 2016 and 2018… New Hampshire will play at San Diego State in 2016 and at Colorado in 2018…


The SEC Network announced a new show, SEC Inside, a half-hour program that will focus on a select team each week and explore previously unaired footage… ROOT SPORTS announced it will televise nine live Mountain West Conference football games in 2015…


Britton Banowsky
, who served as commissioner of Conference USA for the past 13 years, will become executive director of the College Football Playoff Foundation this fall… Colgate announced that Vicky Chun is now a vice president in addition to her duties as director of athletics… Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (N.Y.) has named Dr. Lee A. McElroy Jr. as director of athletics…

Awards & Honors

Former football players Blake Brockermeyer, Michael Huff, David Kristynik, Randy Peschel and Vince Young and former head coach Fred Akers will be inducted into the University of Texas Hall of Honor this fall...


UCLA will hold an official groundbreaking ceremony for the Wasserman Football Center on Aug. 27… UAB is fundraising for the necessary facilities as it reinstates its football program… South Alabama has initiated a preliminary exploration of the possible construction of an on-campus football stadium… A new football support building is among Virginia’s proposed athletics facilities projects… Duke alumnus Steve Brooks and his wife, Eileen, have committed $13 million to Duke athletics, and the football field will be named Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium in their honor… Connecticut’s stadium has been renamed Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field… SMU will bring fans an innovative tailgate experience this fall with the creation of a premium village of luxurious tailgate suites…


The Ole Miss Athletics Foundation announced another record-breaking year, as it received contributions of $35.2 million from donors in the fiscal year that ended June 30… The Rice University Owl Club closed out a record-breaking fiscal year as alumni, letterwinners and fans donated a total of $2.304 million to surpass the campaign goal of $2.2 million… The local Idaho community raised almost $60,000 for Vandal athletics… Davidson announced that the Davidson Athletic Fund raised a record-breaking $8,395,350 for athletics during the 2014-15 season… The Holy Cross Crusader Athletic Fund is celebrating another record-breaking year…

Uniforms and Logos

Miami (Fla.) officially unveiled its new football uniforms for the 2015 season… Penn State will remove the names from the backs of its jerseys beginning this season to pay homage to the history of Nittany Lion football… Southern Miss officially unveiled its new logo… Howard unveiled its new athletics logo… Henderson State (Ark.) launched a new brand enhancement, including new logos and an upgrade of the athletics website…


As part of its 75th anniversary celebration in 2015, the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) is highlighting one of its most important leaders each week for the next four months. The most recent installment is the Des Moines Register’s Maury White, the 1980 winner of the Bert McGrane Award…

Community Service

Georgia Tech will donate more than 2,000 tickets to charitable children’s organizations for the Sept. 12 football game vs. Tulane…

More News of Interest

The NCAA announced that its Football Rules Committee has approved an “experimental” rule to incorporate the use of spotters, who would alert officials and possibly stop games when a player appears injured… Replay for football officials will now be available for every game held in a Big Sky Conference venue… Virginia’s College at Wise has been moved to active status as an NCAA Division II member… Northwestern Oklahoma State was approved for active membership in Division II… Michigan has sold its highest number of season tickets since 2012… Florida A&M will be implementing GradesFirst, a program that monitors the progress of student-athletes and provides updates to both professors and the athletics department…


Former Florida Athletics Director and LSU head coach Bill Arnsparger passed away July 17. He was 88… Former Lake Forest (Ill.) football player Richard Crohn passed away June 30. He was 87… Former Western State Colorado football player and longtime high school football coach Don Miller passed away July 5. He was 79… Former Middle Tennessee State football player Loval Jobe Jr. passed away July 7. He was 62… Former Syracuse halfback and Hobart (N.Y.) head football coach George Davis passed away July 10. He was 89… Former Tulane wide receiver JaJuan Dawson died July 12. He was 37… Northwood (Mich.) head football coach Pat Riepma passed away July 14. He was 54… Doug Layton, who spent nearly 30 years in the radio booth for Alabama football, passed away July 15. He was 81… Arkansas Tech football player Zemaric Holt died July 19. He was 21…


The National Football Foundation relies, in part, on the support of individuals to fulfill our mission of "Building Leaders Through Football." The NFF accepts gifts in a variety of forms. In addition to one-time cash gifts, which can be put to use immediately, pledges also allow donors to make more substantial commitments over a longer period of time in support of our programs. Stock and other property which can be easily liquidated are also options when considering a gift. By making a gift of appreciated stock or property, one may reduce or avoid capital gains. Gifts to the National Football Foundation are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Join us! For more information about how you can support the NFF, call 972-556-1000 or click here.

The NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association provides a powerful vehicle for past honorees to remain in the vanguard of the NFF’s present efforts. Click here to see the members of the 2014 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association. For more information on the program or to enroll for 2014, please email Ron Dilatush at


Sept. 24, 2015 – Announcement of the 2015 semifinalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy – Irving, Texas

Oct. 29, 2015
– Announcement of the 2015 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, presented by Fidelity Investments – Irving, Texas

Dec. 7, 2015
– Presentation of the Asa S. Bushnell Cup to the Ivy League Football Players of the Year at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – New  York City

Dec. 8, 2015
– NFF Chapter Awards Luncheon, presented by Under Armour, at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – New York City

Dec. 8, 2015
 – 58th NFF Annual Awards Press Conference at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – New York City

Dec. 8, 2015
– 58th NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – New York City

Dec. 8, 2015
– 26th presentation of the William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by Fidelity Investments and prominently displayed at the NYAC, to the nation's top football scholar-athlete at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – New York City

Dec. 8, 2015
– Induction of the 2015 College Football Hall of Fame Class at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – New York City

Dec. 31, 2015
– The 11th Annual NFF National Hall of Fame Salute at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl – Atlanta, Ga.

Jan. 7, 2016
– Leadership Hall of Fame Induction Dinner - Phoenix, Ariz.

Jan. 8, 2016
– Announcement of the 2016 College Football Hall of Fame Class – Scottsdale, Ariz.

Jan. 11, 2016
–College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship at University of Phoenix Stadium – Glendale, Ariz. 


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The NFF would like to thank NFF correspondent Bo Carter for his contributions to this report.

NFF Chalktalk items are welcome, and should be submitted to

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